Food Fix, coronavirus and BRCGS consultancy support

Food Safety support during the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus has taken us all by surprise. As staff self-isolate or practice social distancing it will become harder to maintain your BRCGS (new name for BRC) compliance. This becomes particularly difficult when your business is also dealing with inevitable challenges such as key person absence and changes to raw materials and their suppliers. Many companies also have biosecurity procedures that prohibit contractors and visitors.  A combination of factors that can make it difficult for businesses to maintain their BRCGS Food Safety and Quality Management Systems.

Food Fix – doing our bit!

We have contacted all our current clients to let them know that, on average, their chargable rates will drop by more than 25%.

We recognise that every sector of the food industry will be under massive pressure and we need to share the burden. This rate reduction will last for at least the next 12 weeks for all current and new clients.

Can Food Fix help your business?

Ian Trevor, Food Fix Managing Director, is a BRCGS Consultant. A BRCGS Consultant is approved by BRCGS following a rigorous vetting process, check the BRCGS website here.

Last year I completed 7 BRCGS projects across 3 standards, each client achieved a AA grade. My first two audits for 2020 have also been AA grades.

Remote “Virtual” BRCGS audits

BRCGS have announced that due to travel restrictions and company biosecurity measures audits can be conducted remotely. There are several conditions that need to be considered before a remote audit can be permitted by a Certification Body, but the mechanism is in place. If you need some help assessing whether your site can have a virtual BRCGS audit get in touch.

How else can we help?

Examples of things that may become more difficult to manage might include:

    • HACCP – this might need reviewing to include any changes you are proposing to make regarding new raw materials, new processes or changes to storage and distribution practices.
    • Internal audits – if your cohort of internal auditors has been diminished or repurposed, we can help. Remote internal audits should be possible for sections that don’t require an audit of production facilities and good manufacturing practice. As a guide any BRCGS section that has green¬†colour-coding could be a candidate for remote Internal Auditing by sharing documents.
    • Raw material risk assessments – raw materials purchased from alternative suppliers may need to be reviewed to ensure that they fit within the current risk assessment scope.
    • Supplier Approval Procedure – your procedures may be written in a way to exclusively use other BRCGS suppliers for your raw materials and packaging. If your supply chain is being squeezed it may be necessary to consider alternative suppliers, some of whom might not have a BRCGS certificate. We can help you re-write your supplier approval procedures, whilst maintaining BRCGS compliance, but introducing the potential for some flexibility of supply.
    • Low Risk Supplier Approval – When raw material suppliers have been risk assessed as “Low Risk” there is the potential to approve these suppliers by using a self-assessment questionnaire and traceability information. We can help design a questionnaire, with traceability requests and review of information as it flows back from suppliers.
    • Distribution and storage – you may be looking to extend your storage and distribution partners. We can help with the approval process.
    • Specifications – If your business needs to use different suppliers for raw materials it’s important that specifications are reviewed to determine any impact on raw material, allergen or vulnerability risk assessments, or labelling information.

If you would like some help from Food Fix, please get in touch. Our contact details are ian@foodfix.co.uk and 07737 830670.